From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj Gen Babagana Monguno (retd), has commended the armed forces and the security agencies for drastically reducing the security challenges bedevilling the country.
The NSA said the latest move adopted by the military and the security agencies to curtail the activities of terrorists and other criminal groups has yielded very positive results.
Mungono, spoke at the opening of the Defence Advisers and Attachés Annual Conference, in Abuja.
The NSA, while listing insurgency, terrorism, secessionist, illegal oil bunkering, banditry, kidnapping and cattle among other violent crimes which hitherto ravaged most parts of the country, said the military and security agencies had been recording a high degree of success in all operations, as well as substantial levels of peace and stability in the North East and North West.
He said this is clearly evident by the continued mass surrender of terrorists and their sympathisers, particularly in the North East just as he harped on the need to strengthen regional cooperation to further ensure the success of ongoing military operations.
According to him, “Similar degrees of success are also been recorded in other zones of the country, especially in addressing crude oil theft and secessionist activities, amongst others”.
“I must also mention the support of our neighbours in our regional counterterrorism efforts, particularly in the Lake Chad Basin under the auspices of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
Continuing, Mungono said “The transnational nature of the current threats has made regional cooperation a matter of utmost necessity.
“Additionally, we have continued to strengthen collaboration with our international partners in terms of capacity building and strategic intelligence sharing.
“These strategic partnerships are mainly driven by the defence Attaché system,” he said.
While commending the DIA, for strengthening alliances to promote Nigeria’s regional and international interests, the NSA noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was determined to go to great lengths to ensure that the country attained the desired level of peace, stability and prosperity.
While noting that defence advisers and attachés played a significant role in intelligence architecture by providing strategic estimates in partnership with foreign allies, the NSA said it was important that DIA broaden its horizon to explore avenues to improve indigenous capability in the various dimensions of national security.
He said the DIA has continued to play a central role in the intelligence community, particularly in providing technological capabilities, and external and domestic security assessments, mainly of military nature.
“This is a key function of the agency of which the Chief of Defence Intelligence has discharged with great zeal, commitment and determination under my coordination.
“I, therefore, implore you to always provide us with timely and actionable intelligence in order to shape the global strategic landscape to our advantage.
“Let me also share with you from my experience, that developing strong partnerships and relationships in your host countries as well as countries of accreditation is very vital for a successful tour of duty as defence advisers and defence attaches.
“In addition, I need not stress the overarching importance of your subordination to the ambassador or High Commissioner, as well as the cordial relationship between the defence section and the embassy staff.
“You must note that you are all military actors expected to perform established institutional tasks in a civilian setting.
“That is why you were specially selected as elite carrier officers, considering that your work schedule involves directly dealing with civilian diplomats, which requires a lot of tact and professionalism.
“Furthermore, it is instructive that you align your responsibilities with the prescribed guidelines in the relevant portions of the national security strategy of 2019, National Defence Policy of 2017 and the National Military Strategy of 2022,”,
He expressed the hope that the outcome of the conference would reinforce the existing strategies and proffer new ones to address some perennial security challenges.
Earlier in his address, the Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Major General Samuel Adebayo, who said the annual conference afforded the agency the opportunity to appraise the activities of its defence sections all over the world, said the conference was also to identify new lessons, discuss modalities for common challenges, as well as to strategize for the future, especially as the election year approached.
He said the conference came at a time when the nation was facing unusual security challenges characterised by a volatile, uncertain and complex environment.
He said the theme of the conference was carefully chosen to guide the deliberations and contributions towards attaining success in counterterrorism strategy and creating an atmosphere for sustainable national security and development.
According to him, the DIA had continued to play a key role in support of the armed forces in confronting the myriad security challenges being faced by the country, even as he hinted that the special operations undertaken by the agency in conjunction with other stakeholders, which targeted different threat groups in the North West and North Central, were yielding desired results.
He said the nature of threats posed by the enemies of Nigeria, reinforced the need for collaborative efforts between government departments within the security service, and through foreign diplomats and defence attachés.
“As we all know, terrorist groups leverage foreign affiliations to sustain their franchise, the need for international cooperation in countering the terror groups cannot be overemphasised.
“The defence attachés and advisers have done well to elicit this cooperation from their countries of accreditation and to deny the same support to adversaries.
“Importantly, the activities of secessionist groups which threaten the corporate existence of our nation require collaborative action to surmount.
“The need for a continuous reappraisal of strategies and operational tactics and methods of intelligence gathering and sharing in order to efficiently deal with our security challenges is very paramount at this time.”